Writing Courses

The Writing Center Advisory Committee is responsible for certifying courses to meet the writing requirement. No course may offer WR sections without the approval of this committee. For further information, contact Dean Alfred Guy at 432-7492 or alfred.guy@yale.edu.

Guidelines for Writing Courses

Courses that fulfill the writing requirement normally include the following elements:

  • A total of 15–25 pages of graded writing required for the term
  • Two or more graded writing assignments
  • Instructor feedback on writing, with opportunities to put suggestions into practice
  • Time spent teaching writing in class throughout the term
  • Writing assignments that count, cumulatively, for 25% or more of the final course grade
  • A limit of 20 students in WR seminars; a limit of 15 students in WR sections led by specially trained TFs

In these guidelines “writing” means both style and substance. Yale College has designed the WR requirement to integrate the teaching of writing and the teaching of subject matter. Instructors of WR courses should teach students not only to write better prose, but also to argue well, to work with evidence, and to explore problems relevant to a particular subject.

These are guidelines, not a checklist of required elements. WR course proposals should include an explanation of how the course is suitable to the requirements, and the Writing Committee is eager to consider courses that approach these elements creatively.